I have met a lot of people whose experience has been similar to mine. When I was a child I thought that God was something like a slot machine - a set of spinning images in a casino that handed out rewards based on behavior, and, perhaps, on chance. And as I reflect back on it, for me at least, what I was doing was more like living by superstition than having a relationship with God.
But here’s the problem: it seemed to work. If something nice happened to me, I thought it was God, and if something nice didn’t happen, I went back to the slot machine mentality, knelt down and prayed, and pulled the lever a few more times. Now, this is not what the Bible teaches about how to live. It certainly is not biblical Christianity, but it’s what a lot of people believe. To me, back then, God was more of an idea. I found this described in the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, where he says that "spirituality," for many people, has "a god" who is just an idea. For them, the Lord is not a real person – just a mind game. What I have come to learn, however, is that God is real. He is personal. And he desires a relationship with us. This is all throughout the Bible, of course, but I missed it for many years.
What about you? Do you want to know God personally? The apostle Paul writes, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2) We read in Jesus’ great prayer, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." (John 17:3) Our church's mission statement begins with the words "to know Christ…" Before we can do anything for the Lord, we need to know Him first.
We, at the North Shore Community Church, invite anyone and everyone to join us in getting to know Jesus Christ. We would like to get to know you, as well. Please consider meeting with us someday soon!
Pastor John Yenchko